The somnolent atmosphere on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange trading floor belies the dire state of regional equity markets. Although most companies have reported healthy earnings in the past quarter, Gulf stock markets have plunged and all are firmly in the red.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All-Shares index, which tracks the performance of the largest Gulf stock market, has lost a third of its value this year, and the Dubai Financial Market is even worse. The Qatari bourse, previously the region’s stellar performer, is 13 per cent below its starting point this year.

Amman, which at one point this summer was the world’s best performing stock market, has pared its advance to 4 per cent this year.

It makes for grim reading for money managers invested in the region.

HSBC Saudi Arabia’s $1.8bn Amanah Saudi Equity Fund is down more than 14 per cent, and National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s $354m United Arab Emirates Trading Fund has lost 29 per cent, according to Zawya, a regional data provider.

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